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The Long Tailed Book Seer

So in downtime over the past month or so we made The Bookseer, a fun little web app, and it went live last week. It’s really simple, but we’re delighted to note that it has seen a lot of love and quite a lot of action in its first week.
Seeing as the Bookseer is [...]

Published: June 14, 2009. Read more →

Mad Men: Books as psychological (product) placement

Sunday saw the opening of the second season of Mad Men; the drama set in a Madison Avenue ad agency in the early 1960s.
Mad Men is brilliant for all sorts of reasons, but one thing it does very well is show the cracks emerging in a society as it shifts from life as it always [...]

Published: July 29, 2008. Read more →

Reading in RSS (is different)

Like a lot of people these days, I read a lot in RSS. And I love reading in RSS.
However, I don’t think a lot of people in publishing (or in magazines, perhaps?) can possibly do the same. It’s still sadly the case that when one says “RSS” in meetings, one gets a lot of head [...]

Published: July 28, 2008. Read more →

“The iPod Moment for Books”: How Serious is the UK Publishing Industry?

Amid all the chat about Kindles, Iliads, SonyReaders and ebooks generally revivifying a “flat” books market, there is the latent hope/fear that Apple’s next iPhone (to be announced next Monday, keep up) will also have ebook capability.
Such a sexy, “converged” device would surely corral latent consumer desire to read books on a screen rather [...]

Published: June 6, 2008. Read more →

Why Agents Need Good Websites

Do agents need (good) web sites? It depends who you ask. Some agents don’t have web sites at all – and, alarmingly, some agents I’ve spoken to continue to take a fairly dim view of the web as a whole, almost considering it beneath or outside their areas of responsibility.
None (that I know of, [...]

Published: March 31, 2008. Read more →

The end of The Wire

I’ve just watched the last episode of season five of The Wire. If you don’t watch or know the show, my apologies – but for me, it’s almost (possibly even) as good as seasons 1-4 of The West Wing – those written primarily by Aaron Sorkin. In fact, all I want to do now is [...]

Published: March 14, 2008. Read more →

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (200,000 times)

In 1999, I wrote a business plan for the company I was then working for, Canongate Books. The plan was for the Scottish Arts Council, and the idea I’d come up with was to make “pop promos for books” which would get a web and film festival showing, and drive traffic to the Canongate site [...]

Published: February 14, 2008. Read more →

Free: PDF vs. MP3?

In among all the recent interest in free I wanted to pick up on something I mentioned in passing (I think during a question) at RRO a couple of weeks back.
We have an increasingly broad range of options these days for electronic reading devices – be it the basic (phone, computer), dedicated (Kindle, Sony Reader), [...]

Published: February 13, 2008. Read more →

Free (conomics)

We’ve long, long, long-since argued that giving books away for free online is a great way to market them.
However, not all – in fact very few, possibly close to none – of our clients agrees, despite some great anecdotal evidence from the like of Corey Doctorow, Seth Godin and now, as fate would have [...]

Published: February 11, 2008. Read more →

Radiohead Customer Service

I’ve always felt that customer service in e-commerce is vital – that you only get one chance to stuff up a relationship with a customer; that you’re competing with Amazon (who in my experience have crap customer service, but the perception is that they are the high water mark); and that you should do [...]

Published: October 11, 2007. Read more →